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Should we be surprised by summer events at Manchester United and City?

Should we be surprised by summer events at Manchester United and City?

There has been a big summer of change in Manchester, in both the red and the blue halves, with new world class managers coming in to initiate such a turnaround.

The operative word here is “inherited”, as any player can be deemed surplus to requirements by a new coach and, as long as he is new, he will be forgiven virtually anything he does with the team.

A perfect example is Pep Guardiola and his decisions at Manchester City. He has, no doubt, ruffled a few feathers. That is no surprise, Guardiola always ruffles feathers.

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Joe Hart has gone out on loan to Torino having been replaced by a shorter Chilean version who, according to Pep, can play football.

For anybody who knows the Guardiola philosophy, this will also have come as no great surprise. Football, for him, starts with the goalkeeper who is not required just to lump it up-field, but to start a meaningful attack if and whenever possible.

Many people wondered why Hart didn’t stay in England, but I think that was in fact a club decision. Obviously in the Premier League, Hart would have come up against City at least twice, unless he had gone to Sunderland, West Ham or Stoke City who they had already played once. To avoid this, City offered to pay a large portion; if not all, of Hart’s wages providing it was to a club abroad. This secured him a pretty quick move to a mid-table Italian team where he can regroup and think about his future while being out of the spotlight.

Samir Nasri was another member of the squad who was farmed out on loan to Sevilla but this wasn’t quite as surprising as the Joe Hart exit, nor one that rocked the boat as much. There were also many loan exits of some of the younger players which will have managed to trim the different squad sizes as well as the wage bill, but this will also have come as no surprise to anyone.

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Of the new players who were bought by City, none could be said to be a major surprise. They are all “Pep types”, meaning they are comfortable on the ball in all areas of the pitch. What fans may find a little surprising is that John Stones was the only defender of note brought in by Pep. The full-backs, in particular, were thought to be in need of an overhaul but it would appear that Guardiola will give them until January to prove themselves to him.

Over at Old Trafford, any surprise; if there was one, was more about the player who stayed rather than anyone leaving the Red Devils.

Jose Mourinho went to great lengths to explain that he didn’t want to sell Juan Mata while he was Chelsea manager, it was a move that the player wanted. This may have been the case, but nobody really saw Mata as a “Jose Mourinho type” and it would therefore have come as no surprise had the little Spaniard been one of the first casualties of the new regime.

He wasn’t, and in an apparent u-turn by Mourinho, the Spaniard started the first three games. He was also substituted at around the 70 minutes mark in all three matches but in fairness, that could happen to anybody and Mata is always going to be a prime candidate due to his lack of height and pace.

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Some great players have arrived and, in true Mourinho fashion, they have included superstars of proven pedigree and unknown youngsters who will become superstars. Eric Bailly certainly fits the latter of the two bills.

In a previous article, (which can be found here), a comparison was made between Manchester City and Manchester United in the recent transfer window and the jury was out as to who had spent their money the wisest. Now that the transfer window has closed and the clubs have made no further additions, then that situation has not changed. City appear to have gone for quantity and United for quality although, in fairness to City, some of their quantity looks to be very good potential quality!

So, the teams are set until January now. Jose Mourinho would probably have liked to have brought in another centre-half but to do so, we are led to believe, he would have had to sell at least one player. This did not happen so we have to hope there are no injuries to either Blind or Bailly because I have very little faith in the replacements, despite many people lauding the improvement displayed by Smalling.

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Guardiola, on the other hand, may have liked to add a new full-back but, again, he didn’t so he will have to make do with what he has.

These apparent shortcomings should not prevent one or the other of these two from winning the title. At this early stage, the only obstacle on that front appears to be Chelsea, where the other new kid in town has started off quite well.


Featured Image: All rights reserved by Diario El Universo

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